Born in 1934, Jones studied at Oxford and attended lectures by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. She published her first novel, Changeover, in 1970. Jones is best-known for her 1986 novel Howl's Moving Castle, recently adapated as a well-received film for Studio Ghibli, and her Chrestomanci and Derkholm series of novels. She received the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Her book, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland should be required reading for anyone planning to write a secondary world epic fantasy.
From Neil Gaiman:
"Rest in Peace, Diana Wynne Jones. You shone like a star. The funniest, wisest, writer & the finest friend. I miss you."
Very sad news. Condolences to her many friends, family and fans.